Happy International Women’s Month, everywoman! The past few years, we have made great strides on the plight and fight of women all over the world for equal rights, inclusion, opportunities, and representation. And let’s not forget how many powerful men’s sexual abuses have been brought to light by brave women. But despite the progress we’ve made, we still have a long way to go.
Case in point: a Philippine edition of an international magazine’s tweaking of Riverdale stars Lili Reinhart and Camila Mendes’s photos to make their already trim waists even smaller (yes, we don’t have to mention the name here, we’ll let Lili do that). The photoshopped change was obvious because those photos came from the US edition of the magazine and the photos were posted in the local magazine’s Instagram account. It didn’t take long for Lili Reinhart to call them out on it.
“It’s sad that you felt our bodies needed to be slimmed down. But Camila and I are f***ing beautiful as is,” wrote Lili, who is featured the magazine’s March issue with Camila.
While it’s easy to chalk this up as another case of “the media giving women unrealistic beauty standards,” let’s take a step back and see what else we can learn about women from Lili and this unfortunate issue:
- It takes a lot of work to be confident and proud of the bodies that we have. Yes, confidence is something to be worked on, especially when we live in a world and society that loves to tell you that you’re too fat, too thin, not pretty enough, too pretty, etc. “Camila and I have worked incredibly hard to feel confident and comfortable in the bodies that we have,” as Lili wrote on her IG post.
- A woman’s body is her own. Nobody else’s. Even if they’re in photos. This is why CONSENT is such a buzz word these days. So, don’t touch (or retouch) without permission! “We want their readers to know that those bodies are not ours; they have been distorted from their natural beauty. We prefer to see our bodies the way they actually are,” Camila added on her Instagram Stories.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of improving on what is already beautiful. While we have already made a lot of progress on women’s rights, it’s hard to shake off the unrealistic and oftentimes cruel standards imposed upon us by the world at large (no matter how well-meaning some of them may be). As Lili had said, “So we cannot stop fighting. Our battle has only just begun.”
- We need to stand up for ourselves and for fellow women. Go ahead and speak up when you’re violated.
- Don’t be fooled by impossibly small waists that you see in magazines, even online. There are so many ways to edit photos these days. Some people may love being photoshopped (and there are personalities who even require it) to appear how they feel they should look, but at the end of the day, it’s just an illusion. Love and accept the body you are in, take care of it. Ladies, go take care of yourself and fellow women. Let’s build each other up instead of trying to “fix” ourselves according to “their” standards. Whoever they are.
Lili plays Betty Cooper and Camila is Veronica Lodge in the series Riverdale that is currently streaming on Netflix. The photoshopped images have since been deleted from the magazine’s Instagram feed.
Screenshots from Lili Reinhart’s Instagram stories.
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